Fostering Resilience

Changing directions mid-stride, without missing a step: Summer Hikes in a pandemic

In the spring newsletter, I announced that, in the interest of community health, all summer in-person group events were cancelled and that new ways of engaging our community with protected lands were in the works. 

In the early days of working from home, I placed a sticky note on the wall  that says, “Foster Resilience.” It reminds me that each action I/UPLC takes today forms the world of tomorrow, a reminder that every step I/UPLC takes  needs to be well-supported and especially –  FLEXIBLE….after a month of re-imagining a summer, well – here it is, folks! The first announcement of:

UPLC’s Summer of Virtual Hikes!

First off, I’d like to introduce you to “RAMBLIN’ with ROSIE” virtual hikes with UPLC volunteer Jo and her faithful companion, Rosie! In Episode One, Jo and Rosie introduce us to a local floral favorite: the Pink Lady Slipper Orchid at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve. Check it out!

Ramblin’ with Rosie – Episode 1: The Pink Lady Slipper at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve

Friendly reminder that leashed pets are welcome at the Chocolay Bayou, but some nature preserves owned by UPLC (Like the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve) do *not* allow pets in order to protect certain animals who call the preserve home. Please check on the rules of the individual preserve before you bring your pets, and remember to always clean up after them so that the hike is pleasant and poo-free for the next hiker.


Birding 101 with Tom Noren

Join local birding expert Tom Noren on an introductory hike through the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve to talk about the colorful, complex, and LOUD migrating warblers who rely on the nature preserve as a place to rest, feed, and breed on their long seasonal journey. The video will be complimented with this birding guide put together by Tom to teach you the basic birds of the Bayou. Keep an eye out for the birding video on our social media and in the (virtual) events page on the website soon!

Have a good subject idea for another virtual “hike with an expert?” Know someone who would be willing to let me follow them around with my phone while they talk about something they love about one of our preserves? Shoot me an email!

Coming in July:

State-Wide BIO BLITZ!

A WHAT? Where? How…?

A bio-blitz! Traditionally, bio-blitzes are 24-hour events where we pull in as many community members as we can to document every instance of every plant, insect, animal, fungus, bird, etc. that can be seen in every corner of a particular preserve. This gives us a “snapshot” idea of what the preserve may look like at any given time and it helps us understand how to best manage the particular area…well, the *resilient* 2020-version of the bio blitz will not involve a large group of people sharing field equipment – nope, this one you can do on your own time, at the site of your choosing, using an app, and guided with a month-long series of webinars. Wow!

In partnership with Michigan State University’s UP Extension Offices and the iNaturalist app, several conservation organizations across the state are encouraging people to get outside, explore protected places over the month of July, learn about the natural world around them, and help promote healthy, biodiverse natural places simply by contributing to the knowledge base of what’s where. The preserves we are focusing on are: The Chocolay Bayou, Tory’s Woods, Vielmetti-Peters, and Peshekee Headwaters Nature Preserve.

Registration will be free and is coming soon! MSUE and UPLC will host a series of webinars that include how to use iNaturalist (and how to contribute without the app, too!), how to identify common plants and animal signs, and more!

Resilient landscapes, (resilient programming), resilient communities.


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